What ever became of Nineveh – that great city famous for Jonah and his fish adventure while trying to avoid preaching there? Remember how Nineveh actually repented when Jonah told them God was going to judge them? Remember how mad Jonah was because he wanted them to get what they deserved?
Well, apparently their repentance – sincere at the time, was short lived. About a hundred years after Jonah preached to them the prophet Nahum prophesied their utter and final destruction. “The Lord has given a command concerning you, Nineveh: ‘You will have no descendants to bear your name.'” (Nahum 1:14)
It was in 612 B.C. that God used a coalition of nations to overthrow the city. It never rose again. It has been widely excavated by archaeologists and is located in modern day Iraq.
Is there a lesson for those of us today residing in a great nation of the world – one that seems too strong and vital to ever fall? Nahum reminds Nineveh of something it might be good for us to listen in on: “The Lord is slow to anger and great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished.” (Nahum 1:3)
Just as God keeps track of individuals, he keeps track of nations. He watches for governments that are righteous or unrighteous. He observes national sins. He looks for repentance and a return to him but if he does not find it a study of Nineveh shows the eventual outcome.
Pray for your nation! Pray for genuine and lasting repentance! What chance would we have if God ever said of us as he did of Nineveh: “‘I am against you'” (Nahum 3:5)